If there’s one word that described the journey to Jakarta, it would be long.
My room woke up at 3:00 AM, Monday morning. We had to be out of the showers by 3:45 so that the guys could use them. Target time to leave the house: 4:30.
We loaded up all our bags onto the bus and headed off to the airport bright and early.
Flight #1: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to San Francisco International Airport
2.5 hours in the air.
Flight #2: San Francisco International Airport to Incheon International Airport (Seoul, South Korea)
12 hours in the air
Flight #3: Incheon International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport
6 hours in the air
and we arrived very late at night, and our flight didn’t depart until early the next morning, so we were able to take the opportunity to camp out beside our terminal and finally lay in a more comfortable position.
Flight #4: Singapore Changi Airport to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Jakarta, Indonesia)
1 hour in the air.
Add in all the layovers and seemingly endless security checks (we had one at every single airport), and you’ve got a grand total of 36 hours of traveling.
From a glance, it looks like a crazy amount of time. One and a half days, with a good majority of that in the sitting position. The question is: how was that time spent?
First off, we attempted to sleep. A couple of the guys were able to zonk out almost the entirety of the flights thanks to good old Tylenol PM.
We spent lots of time playing the interactive games in the airplane. We were asked to refrain from watching the movies, and that was quite a challenge, especially after reading the entertainment brochure to see all the latest movies advertised at our grasp. The whole team complied willingly though, and saw the value of utilizing the time in the Word and in each other. The games, however, were not off-limits, and there were plenty to choose from to stay occupied with.
And after 36 hours of fastening seatbelts, sleeping on shoulders, peeking out the windows, parking outside gates, playing games, and eating airplane food, our plane finally touched down in Jakarta.
Next stop: customs.
11 people getting through customs does not sound like a pretty picture. On top of that, we also had to purchase visas. When arriving at the customs area, we were prepared for a wait.
We first got in line for the visas. Blessing #1) Ken was able to purchase all of our visas at once. We didn’t have to show our passports individually, or even come up to the counter individually. Our visas were purchased and approved all at once. We probably spent only five minutes in that line.
Next we got in line for the immigration stations. This we had to go in individually and some of us were sort of nervous. We knew what to say, but still, there was always a possibility of a problem arising. I arrived at the counter, and the only question I was asked, “Are you in high school?”
Stamp. Stamp. Through.
And for almost everybody else, that was the same case. A couple kids didn’t get asked any questions at all. We were in and out of there in, again, five to ten minutes tops.
So much for spending a long time in customs.
It was amazing, after spending a long day and a half cooped up in airports and airplanes, to not have to struggle with the hassle of customs. We were blessed in that the whole process of immigration and baggage took no longer than twenty minutes total.